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Much Ado About Nothing - summary

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Introduction

Much Ado About Nothing is set in the Elizabethan era, in a town called Messina. The play is about two main characters that fall in love and decide to marry, but their happiness is short lived when a friend's brother decides to play a trick on them, and it all goes horribly wrong. The play seems to be about how women were portrayed and treated in the Elizabethan era and how certain situations were thought to be so terrible then, enough so that families were forced to take very drastic action to save face. There are many different events in the play which are summarised as follows: Leonato lives in the town of Messina, with his daughter hero and his niece Beatrice, as well as his brother Antonio. The play begins with Leonato welcoming some friend's home from the war. They are Don Pedro, a prince and two soldiers Claudio, a nobleman and Benedick, a man who always jokes, at the expense of his friends. Don John is also part of this crowd. Claudio soon falls in love with Hero and decides to get married. ...read more.

Middle

He also seems to be a bit of an entertainer among others, I think this is a way to show his true feelings, such as "play fighting" with Beatrice for an example. Claudio however is not one to hide his feelings towards people, especially Hero. In act four scene one he makes the mistake of accusing Hero of something that she did not do, this is down to the fact that Claudio thinks whatever he sees or hears is true. This is a problem on its own as he thinks the worst of her before getting proof that it was indeed her.Act four; Scene One gives a clear impression of Elizabethan times. Women were clearly treated as second-class citizens. Men expected them to be demure, innocent and proper. Men were seen as being more important than women and were given more chances to succeed in a line of work, whereas women were expected to have no career after marriage. Instead, they were often left at home and were expected to be a good wife and mother. It was not a good idea for women in Elizabethan times to question their husbands or indeed any other male within their family. ...read more.

Conclusion

Beatrice is another woman who gets treated badly by the men in the play, due to the fact that she is loud and out-spoken, and she is not seen suitable for marriage.My conclusion to the attitudes of men towards women in the Elizabethan era is that, I think, Leonato felt pressured by the other men in the scene to not believe his daughter and to believe instead the lies told about her. Claudio, even though he loved Hero it was not enough for him to believe her, this tells us that in Elizabethan times men were more likely to believe another man rather a woman. This is very typical of the time as men and woman seemed to have different sets of morals all usually in the favour of the men. Women had very few rights if any and I think they had to work very hard at always acting in the proper and correct way or they could very easily get a very bad name for themselves. They not only had to think of their own reputation but that of their families who could loose their social standing if their daughters behaved inappropriately. "Not to be married, Not to knit my soul to an approved wanton." Act 4 scene 1 Carly Hayes 11T ...read more.

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